Your workplace pension

A workplace pension is a pension provided through your employer. It may be a defined contribution scheme or a defined benefit scheme.

Does it cost me anything?

Usually you will make regular payments into this pension directly out of your salary before tax, and your employer may also contribute to it. Many employers will match your contributions, or otherwise increase their contributions if you do (such as doubling up), and all these contributions will receive a further boost from tax relief. You should therefore consider paying in as much as you can reasonably afford, as it will mean much more money for you in the long term.

Do I get a workplace pension automatically?

All employers are required by law to provide a workplace pension, or to offer one via the government’s NEST scheme. If you are eligible, you will be automatically enrolled in your employer’s workplace pension scheme soon after starting work for them.

You are eligible for the workplace pension if you are:

  • Aged 22 or over
  • Below State Pension age
  • Not already in a qualifying pension scheme
  • Earning more than £10,000
  • Ordinarily employed in the UK

It’s possible to opt out of a workplace pension scheme, but generally not a good idea (except in rare circumstances). It is illegal for an employer to ask you to opt out of the workplace pension scheme, or to put any pressure on you to do so. If you are concerned about joining it (for instance, if your pension savings are already close to the lifetime allowance), then talk to a financial adviser.

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